We express our full solidarity with the struggle for free education. We stand in solidarity with the students who are currently under arrest and in hospital. We express our strongest possible condemnation of the barbaric conduct of the South African Police Services. There needs to be an independent investigation into their conduct. That investigation also needs to look at who it was that invited the police onto the campus. There can never be any excuse for inviting the police onto campus in response to non-violent protest.
The South African Police Services are not here to protect the people. They are here to protect the interests of the ruling class. More than five bodies have recently been found in Grahamstown, some have been raped, and yet no arrests have been made. Last year the police failed to stop the xenophobic attacks. Yet the police are attacking students who were engaged in a peaceful protest. This is a serious indictment on the police.
Students are not the problem. Apartheid old or new is the problem. An economic system that leaves millions without work and without education is the problem. An economic system that leaves many of the few who do get into university with huge debt is the problem.
The ruling party is not committed to addressing the crisis in education. Instead of committing to resolving the crisis they are using the police to crush the students who are fighting for a noble cause. It is the responsibility of the state to make the resources available for free education. This struggle must be taken directly to the ruling party. Zuma, Nzimande and Gordhan need to be held accountable for their failure to invest in education.
Xolisa Runeli – 073 640 06245
Ayanda Kota – 078 625 6462